The End of the Year Book Tag

Hey all, Dani here.

I have a whole section in my blogging notebook with book tags I have either been tagged in or that I just decided I wanted to do, but just haven’t had the time to get them all answered and posted. I suppose that’s why today’s tag is one that I actually saw a whole month ago on Sofii’s blog (A Book. A Thought.) and am just now getting around to posting it myself.

I’m going to try and be a bit better with getting these tags completed in a more timely manner. Especially with NaNoWriMo coming up, I want to try and get as many of my November posts prepped ahead of time so I can just focus on novel writing.

Anyway, this is a fairly short tag, but let’s go ahead and jump in.

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

So many! My currently reading list on Goodreads has like 20 or so books on it, which is just ridiculous. But for a few answers to this, I really need to finish Windwitch by Susan Dennard, because I love the Witchlands and really enjoy the story, King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard, which I’m honestly losing interest in but I’ve come this far in the series so I at least want to finish this book, and A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab, because I have this habit of not finishing series as I don’t want them to end, but it was announced that there would be more books in this world, so I think I can finish this now since there is more to come.

Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?

Usually around this time of year I like to settle in with more epic fantasy reads. As the cooler weather tends to keep me inside more, having lengthy books to enjoy is always great. But, to answer this question, I have heard that The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken is a sort of spooky Halloween-y type read.

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Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?

Well there’s The Empress by S.J. Kincaid (Oct 31), Terminal Alliance by Jim C. Hines (Nov 7), and Immortal Reign by Morgan Rhodes (Dec 12).

What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?

The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor, and Bonfire by Krysten Ritter. Plus so many others, but this question asked for just three.

Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?

Well, I had never heard of All Rights Reserved by Gregory Scott Katsoulis a few months ago and now it ranks up there as one of my favorite books, so of course there could be a book in the last couple months of 2017 that rockets to the top of my favorites of the year list.

Have you already started making reading plans for 2018?

Vague plans for now. I always start my Goodreads reading challenge at 75 books, even when I’ve had to increase it one or two times every year. I’m starting to make a 2018 book releases list, so some of my reading plans will be based on new books. And I’ll likely participate in the April and October sessions of Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon, plus who know what other readathons/reading challenges throughout the year.

Well, that’s about all for today. If you have not yet done this tag and you would like to, then consider yourself TAGGED!

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Are You Ready for NaNoWriMo?

Hey all, Dani here.

National Novel Writing Month is right around the corner, and boy have I missed it. Honestly, aside from these blog posts, I have not done much writing lately, and I certainly have not done a whole lot of creative writing. And I really miss it. I’ve told myself that I need to set up a schedule and block out some time for writing every day and then I just don’t hold myself to it.

Thankfully I have the month of November to get me back into the rhythm of writing regularly.

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Okay, firstly, for those of you who don’t know, NaNoWriMo is an event where each November participants attempt to write 50,000 words on a novel over the course of 30 days. Sounds pretty intense right? Well, honestly, sometimes it can be. Thankfully there are thousands of other writers attempting the same feat so you never really feel alone. You can even join regional forums based on where you live and you’ll be connected with other writers near you. Typically this also includes a person (or people) called Municipal Liaisons (MLs). These lovely people are the ones who organize meet-ups, a kick-off party, write-ins throughout the month, and a wrap party once it is over with.

I have been participating in NaNoWriMo since 2006, and it has just been such an enriching experience. In 2008 I became a Municipal Liaison, and I was one of the many founding donors for the Camp NaNoWriMo program, which is basically NaNoWriMo but in the summertime. I have written so many words and learned so much these past years and I’m so glad that I get to keep going.

This year would have been my tenth year as an ML, but sadly because of so much stuff happening in my real life, I missed the sign up deadline, something I never came close to missing before. So this year I get to watch as my co-ML runs the region on her own…well, officially anyway. Everyone knows that I’m not going anywhere, and am more than happy to answer questions and offer up advice and inspiration to any who need it.

But in some ways I’m actually glad that I just get to focus on my writing, instead of planning write-ins and pep talks, and spending a lot of time on the regional forums or on my region’s Facebook page.

In basically every previous NaNo, I wrote a fantasy or paranormal story, typically with just a hint of romance in it. But this year another story wants to be told, and it means a bit more of a challenge for me. See, events of my life this year have inspired me. At the beginning of this year I went to a friend’s house to start a new Dungeons & Dragons campaign, and there I met the amazingly wonderful and geeky man who has become my boyfriend.

So I want to write a geeky romance story, a story of two people who met while playing D&D and then bonded over board games and movies and other nerdy hobbies.

But I also know that I want the D&D campaign within the book to play a significant role too…so I plan on intertwining a fantasy story through the novel. It should be interesting at the very least.

I have basic sketches of most of the characters already finished and a general idea of the contemporary plot. I’m still thinking about the fantasy campaign story. Over the years I have learned that I can’t do a lot of writing down ideas and such because then I’ll struggle with writing the actual story in November. So I just come up with a few loose ideas and then fly by the seat of my pants the rest of the way. It works for me. Some people spend all of October drafting up elaborate outlines, and that’s fine too.

What I’m trying to do now is to come up with a good title I can use during this first draft process. I told my boyfriend that I don’t want something that is too ridiculous or cheesy, but the only thing that keeps coming to mind is “Roll for Romance.” He laughed and told me that was a perfect title and I should use it.

I guess unless something better comes along, that’s my title. I plan to draft up a quick book summary soon, and then I’ll be ready to write.

And look guys, I’m making more progress with my library/study. I should have it all finished just in time for NaNoWriMo to start, so that’ll be nice. Having a dedicated writing space can sometimes help the mind focus on the task at hand. I’ll just say here that my books aren’t fully in order yet, because I still have about half of my library to move from my mom’s house, and I still have a few more bookcases to assemble.

So are any of you participating in NaNoWriMo this year? If so, let me know, and good luck! And if you have any suggestions for my book title (or if you really like Roll for Romance, let me know those as well.

AMA Answer Time!

Hey all, Dani here.

Thank you so much to Michelle and Elaina, who each asked me a question over the past few days. I really appreciate it. Let’s not waste any time with introductions. I’m jumping into the answers right now.

michelleltaylor94 asked: What are your must reads right now?

I think there’s two possible answers here: the must reads I can recommend for you all to read, and the must reads meaning books that I desperately need to read right now. For the first part, my go-to recommendations include: Dreamworld by Rachel E. Kelly, Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, and The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. To answer the second part: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee, The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell, and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss are all books that I really want and need to read soon.

Elaina Lucy asked: What is the number one book that you’ve read that has the deepest emotional hold on you? It could be either that the book itself is amazing, or for other reasons (a gift from someone special, the first book you ever read, etc).

Wow, this is a fabulous question, and I’d love to know how all of you would answer it as well. Okay, so I’m going to try not to constantly answer with the same books, so I’m actually going to go with a non-fiction choice: You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. This book was so lovely and inspirational for me. Follow that up with getting to meet her during her book tour for the paperback release (Yes, I own a first edition hardcover, and a first edition paperback of this book) and this book will always hold a special place in my heart. Meeting Felicia Day, considering how long I’ve followed her awesome nerdy career and how much I loved the book, is definitely one of the top moments of my life. You can read more about my fangirling and the signing at these links.

This was a fun idea, and I’ll probably try this again in the future, but if at any time you have a question, feel free to ask. I’m pretty much an open book.

Just for fun though, I’ll also throw in a few random fun facts about me, because I know sometimes people probably wonder about it.

Danielle Thamasa is a pen name. I chose it by taking all the letters from my legal birth name and rearranging the letters. (Okay, fine. I had to add in an extra ‘l’ and ‘e’ or else I would have been Daniel). I’ve been using this name for book related things on the internet for around a decade now so I answer to Dani as easily as I do my birth name.

Some of my other hobbies include board games, RPGs (like D&D, Pathfinder, Fantasy AGE, etc), LARPing, comic and gaming conventions, photography, ghost hunting, and traveling (though I don’t do as much as I’d like).

I’ve started watching anime and I’m enjoying it so far. I’m into My Hero Academia, Fairy Tail, Death Note, Trigun, and Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. When I was younger I watched Sailor Moon, Cardcaptor Sakura, and Fullmetal Alchemist, and in college I watched Inuyasha because of my roommate.

I’ve already surpassed my original reading challenge goal on Goodreads. I started the year with a goal of reading 75 books, but now my goal is 100 because I have finished 77 books so far.

Okay, well that’s all for now. Tomorrow I’ll be talking about my time in Indianapolis over the weekend for Gen Con 50.

July Wrap Up and August TBR

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow. Seriously, I cannot believe that July is over already. This year is just flying by. Also, fun fact, today is my birthday! Yay…so I guess you all know that my August book haul is probably going to be a decent sized one, because I get a lot of books and such basically with any event where gifts are expected. Actually, at the time of this post’s release I’m probably sitting in the apartment my boyfriend and I share just reading. I took today off work so I can relax and just enjoy the day.

Anyway, July was a pretty good month of reading, so let’s just jump into the wrap up portion of this post. As per usual, I will link to my reviews where applicable. Oh, and I started my month by reading a handful of book samplers so you can check out that mini review here.

Midnight Jewel by Richelle Mead (5 stars)

Lucky in Love by Kasie West (4.5 stars)

First Watch by Dale Lucas (5 stars)

Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody (5 stars)

Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw (4.5 stars)

Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor (4.5 stars)

No Good Deed by Kara Connolly (5 stars)

Genius: The Game by Leopoldo Gout (3.5 or 4 stars…still deciding on this one)

Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz (5 stars)

No Second Chances by Kate Evangelista (5 stars)

Critical Role: Tal’Dorei Campaign Setting by Matthew Mercer (5 stars)

Sandman, Vol 6: Fables and Reflections by Neil Gaiman (5 stars)

Ms. Marvel, Vol 6: Civil War II by G. Willow Wilson (5 stars)

The Wicked + The Divine, Vol 5: Imperial Phase I by Kieron Gillen (5 stars)

Dead Poets Society by N.H. Kleinbaum (5 stars)

Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger (5 stars)

Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh (4.5 stars) – review coming soon

Sovereign by April Daniels (5 stars) – review coming soon

Whew…see, that’s a pretty hefty list of books read in one month. This high total is partly thanks to participating in two different readathons in July: the 24 Hourathon and the Biannual Bibliothon.

Moving on to my book haul portion, which I like to do in photos. Here’s where I should also toss in a photo of my July OwlCrate unboxing. And I thought I was just going to have the one photo of books (top left), but my birthday book haul arrived a couple days earlier than I expected so the photo on the right is my birthday present to myself. I have finally completed my Sandman collection and I look forward to reading it, plus my boyfriend got me to watch Scott Pilgrim vs the World the other day so now I really want to read the whole series of that as well. Oh, and since The Blood Mirror by Brent Weeks is finally out in paperback, I have the whole series and hope to maybe marathon them by the end of the year.

Finally, it’s time to introduce my August TBR list. Again, I have a pretty packed reading schedule for the month. I like knowing what all books I need to read and everything, but I kind of miss selecting books based on what I’m in the mood for. But I put myself in this position by accepting so many ARCs and e-galleys.

Then again, a few of these books are Middle Grade, which tend to be a bit faster reads for me so I may be able to squeeze in some bonus fun reads this month. We’ll see what happens. With signing up for the Make Me Read It Readathon and wanting to read a number of the books I just hauled, I’m thinking August will be a jam packed month. Speaking of that readathon, do me a favor and check out that post here and vote on what books you think I really need to read for it–because, yes, you can vote for more than one option.

That’s all for now. I’ll be back again soon with more reviews, tags, and perhaps some other random posts. If you feel like commenting below, let me know what books you read in July, or what books you’re looking forward to reading in August.

Camp NaNoWriMo Midpoint Check-in

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow…we are seriously already halfway through the month of July. Time is just flying by and I don’t know that I like it that much.

Anyway, today I’m here to give a little insight as to how my Camp NaNoWriMo experience is going so far. And by that, I mean, talk about how I have been in a writing slump for months now and sometimes it is hard to break out of that.

I’m just having issues focusing when I actually sit down to write…and it doesn’t matter if I’m sitting at a computer or just scribbling in a notebook. I may write a few sentences but then my mind wanders. Now I realize this seems silly when I’m clearly able to focus on reading, but each task is just a bit different. Plus, I suppose my reasoning is that I have a large stack of ARCs that I really should read and review before their release dates, whereas my writing can be put on the backburner.

That’s a horrible way to think of it considering how little writing I’ve managed the past couple years, but sadly that is just how things are working out for me at this point and time.

So basically I’ve maybe written a thousand words towards my original goal of 15,000. Now I’ve been farther behind than this during several sessions of NaNoWriMo and I still manage to reach the finish line just in time.

Perhaps I need to try moving ahead to a different scene or chapter and come back to the opening scene later. I know the basics of what I want to happen but the words just aren’t coming.

I will start another scene and see what happens. Hopefully I can get myself out of this no writing rut I’m in. Because I actually do want to write this story. Yes it is something that will be quite a bit different from my other stories, but sometimes change can be good.

If you’re participating in Camp NaNoWriMo right now, let me know how you’re doing in the comments. We have two more weeks left in this session, so there’s plenty of time to catch up and/or race towards our goals. Good luck everyone!

Camp NaNoWriMo July 2017 Session

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow…that’s kind of a dull post title. I’ll just say that I’m saving my creative thoughts for my upcoming writing project. Right? That sounds reasonable.

Anyway, I am preparing for yet another session of this wonderful event. I really need to get back into a rhythm with my writing; I haven’t managed to accomplish much on that front this year and it makes me a bit sad.

But I think I have an idea for a story I want to write, and it’s actually a bit of a deviation from the normal stuff I come up with. If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you may have realized that I really like fantasy and paranormal stories. Those are primarily what I write and I enjoy doing that.

However, the current story that is in my mind and my heart is a contemporary romance. I have no idea how well I’ll do with this, but I’m willing to give it my best shot. I really like the story and the characters that I’ve developed so far. This might partly be on account of this story being loosely based on real events.

I don’t want to say too much about it because I’m trying to see if I can actually write more if I don’t just tell everyone most everything about what I’m doing or plan to be doing. All I can say is that it will hopefully be a cute nerdy romance story. Plus a lot of my friends from Dungeons & Dragons have been gracious enough to let me use them and/or their characters as inspiration for characters in my novel. So that’s great.

So far I’ve managed to come up with a number of possible chapter titles, so that will make parts of the writing process easier. What I’m still missing is the novel title. For now I have it saved as ‘Untitled Nerd Romance,’ which is not an inspiring title at all…kind of like the title of this post. They let you know what the following text is about but they don’t really make you really want to dive into what follows.

Anyway, for those who aren’t aware, Camp NaNoWriMo is a branch of big sister event NaNoWriMo which takes place every November. Camp takes place twice a year, typically in April and July. But Camp takes a slightly different path than NaNo, making it a more flexible event.

For NaNoWriMo the challenge is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Camp allows you to write and/or edit. And you aren’t bound to a set 50K word goal. No, you can set your goal for a word count of your choosing, or even a goal of so many hours of editing, or so many pages written if you’re working on a play, or even so many lines written if poetry is more your thing.

Also instead of being in regional groups you are placed in smaller cabins where you and up to 11 other writers will get to chat and support each other through the month. Your cabin mates can be randomly assigned based on age and/or genre criteria, or you can create a private cabin and invite your closest writer pals to join in.

I myself am a fan of the private cabin, but since many of my friends opt out of one or both Camp sessions, I often find myself with a few open slots. So, if you think Camp NaNoWriMo sounds interesting, or if you’re already signed up as a Camper and are looking for a cabin, I have some open bunks. Let me know a bit about you and your writing project in the comments (including your username) and I’ll send you an invitation to the cabin.

Let’s have a wonderful month of writing (or editing, if that’s your focus) in July. It’s going to be a fun time.

Finding Inspiration

Hey all, Dani here.

Okay, fine, so I’ve come up with a few posts for the blog. There’s a review coming tomorrow, and then I’ll have two or three posts up next week. What can I say? I’m feeling inspired. It is such a blessing to feel that creative urge coming back. I have so missed it, to the point where I felt like something was missing. I would sit at my computer and stare at the screen hoping for words to flow through my fingers, and yet I typically ended up giving up and binging some show on Netflix.

Things are changing now, and I am so glad of that. Though I will say that I’m fairly certain my DVR has reached max capacity; I’m not sure though as I haven’t turned on my TV in over a month.

I’m in a much happier place than I’ve been in quite some time. Now I’m realizing that last year I read book after book and lost myself in fiction so I could avoid the depressing solitude of my life. That isn’t the case anymore. I have a good group of geeky friends, and I have an amazingly wonderful and nerdy boyfriend, who is so sweet and supportive. His creative spark has reignited my own, and I am immensely grateful for that.

These past few months I have been playing a lot of Dungeons & Dragons with my friends. And the cooperative storytelling and adventuring has really made me want to jump into my own fictional worlds again and just explore them. Of course, before I can work on one of my epic fantasy or science fantasy stories, I really need to finish the last few chapters of Project Death: Revelation and release Thanos’s story onto the world. It was supposed to come out like two years ago, but there were delays, and then last year there were more delays. The more I procrastinated, the harder it became to convince Thanos to give me the last details I needed for the story. Then he just stopped talking to me altogether.

I’m feeling better now, and I think perhaps I can convince Thanos that we should just sit down and get this all finished. He’ll probably feel better once he has completed his task of telling the story of how he became Death. Plus there are still a number of you lovely readers out there who keep asking me about the book. I promise, I will get it out to you, and hopefully it will happen in the next couple of months. I’m not setting a deadline though because those haven’t worked for me the past couple years. Just know that I’m working on it.

Having my life in a good place has made me re-examine books, movies, music, etc. and I’m seeing them all in a new light. It’s fantastic. The urge to write, to follow my characters as they deal with their individual and collective issues, is returning.

I think my first step is going to be to re-read everything I’ve written for Thanos’s tale so far. Okay, yes, that is something like 70K words, but it shouldn’t take me too long to read all of that. I need to remember where I was in the story, and a gentle reminder to Thanos is probably good as well.

But after that I think I can spend an hour or so each day through the week focusing on creative writing. Weekends are wholly dedicated to time with my boyfriend, but if I manage to keep to my writing schedule then pretty soon I’ll be able to announce that I’ve reached “The End” and will need the help of beta readers to see what needs cleaned up, expanded upon, cut out, or rewritten.

The book is close to the end, and I’m ready to finally get it there.

This is what happens when things begin to fall in place. And hey, maybe some of my happiness can rub off on Thanos; he’s still a bit of a stick in the mud. I think he needs a proper vacation, and I am totally willing to give him that…after we finish this book. He won’t be needed for the first half of book three, so it all works out.

Oh, and apparently all of our geeking out and talking about books and writing and such has inspired my boyfriend to get back into writing too. I guess inspiration is contagious.

Signal Boost: Second Life as a Bear by Josette Reuel

Hey all, Dani here.

Look at that, two posts in two days. I’m feeling awesome. Actually, I have an author friend with an upcoming book release, and since I like to support my fellow writers, I agreed to spread the word. Plus, shortly after I started this blog I started doing Signal Boost posts every Friday, so this is excellent timing.

I guess I should begin with stating the obvious…Josette is a friend, and she’s actually my co-ML for NaNoWriMo. And though I have yet to read this book, I’m sure it will be an enjoyable read. To be honest, I’ve only read the first book in the Dasreach Council series, so I really need to carve out time to read books two and three so I can read this one, because it sounds so interesting. And I’m not just saying that because I love characters named Tobias (though I really do have a thing for that name–I blame my childhood obsession with Animorphs).

Okay, okay, I’ll be honest, I’ve been reading the Black Dagger Brotherhood series lately, and that may have put me in a big paranormal romance mood. Of course the spring/summer weather we’ve been having lately has also put me in a bit of a contemporary mood as well.

Anyway, let me just give you all the details you need for this upcoming release. First, the book will be released on May 6, 2017! It is a paranormal romance, and this particular book focuses on a m/m relationship. Now, according to the author, you don’t necessarily have to have read the rest of the books to read this one, but she does recommend that you read this book before you jump into book 4. Thankfully that isn’t much of an issue considering that she is still writing the fourth book.

I should also briefly mention the first three books in the series, and based on what I’ve read so far of these books, they will be good picks for fans of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, the Demonica series, the Lords of the Underworld series, the Psy-Changeling series, or the Immortals After Dark series.

The first three books are: Finding the DragonAccepting the Bear, and Releasing the Panther. What is also fun about these first three is that they basically all take place at the same time, so I do recommend you read these three in order.

You can find out more about these books, including purchasing them, by checking out Josette’s Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, or web site, or by going to Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, KOBO, or Smashwords.

About the Author

Josette Reuel spent many years in the corporate world writing stuffy computer software manuals, until one day a shape shifting dragon kidnapped her and drug her off to be his destined mate… as the words flowed on to the page, she realized that it was time to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a published author.

An avid reader from her earliest memories, Josette enjoys many genres; however her current passion is anything Romance. Her love of Fantasy and the Paranormal tends to come out in all of her writing with strong alpha heroes, each with a little something extra.

Josette writes paranormal romance of varying degrees of heat. She believes in LOVE in all of its forms and doesn’t discriminate or sensor her muse. If you enjoy reading a love story, if you enjoy paranormal creatures, alpha males, and the heroes/heroines that change their lives, then how about giving her books a try?

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Summary

After several years of Special Ops in the Navy and a FUBARed mission, Tobias was once again running. Running away from his past, from the doctors, and from his PTSD — put simply, Tobias was running from himself and was landing in deep shit.

A chance meeting places Tobias in the cross-hairs and he knows immediately that his life as he knew it is over. The big question, would he be allowed to begin a new life with the Dásreach?

Leo hadn’t run from his life, he had been pushed. For one hundred and fifty-seven years, he had been the black sheep of the family, forced to live alone or live a lie. The decision had been easy, that was until Malkum shows up on his doorstep dragging along a pain in the ass Enforcer that flips all of Leo’s switches.

Now both men are forced to reevaluate everything they ever thought they knew, decide what they really want, and figure out how to convince the other.

Will Tobias’ second life as a bear help the Dásreach acknowledge the ultimate truth — love is love — as well as, the magnitude of the changes occurring within their race?

(*NOTE* This story falls between DCN Book 3 and Book 4. It is highly recommended that you read this story before Book 4 in the series as this story will help support events in Book 4. This book is a M/M romance and can be read as a standalone — although both characters are introduced in Book 2.)

If you want to help spread the word about this book release, feel free to share this post with your friends, or you can even sign up for the Thunderclap or Headtalker campaigns. Seriously, sharing the details is very helpful for indie authors, and it is a great way to support an author even if you might not have the money to be able to purchase the books yet.

And luckily enough, Josette Reuel was kind enough to pass along a little snippet from her upcoming release, so you can check that out below. And remember, A Second Life as a Bear will be released on May 5, 2017, and you can pick up the first three books now.

Snippet

A Second Life As A Bear: Dásreach Council Novel 3.5 (M/M)

c) Josette Reuel UNEDITED EXCERPT —

Tobias paced the small room. His nerves forcing his feet to move even with so little area to cover and nowhere to run.

There were no windows and the room only contained a small round table with two chairs. The wooden furniture was worn with use but gleamed with a fresh shine. He now knew every inch of this room and that furniture. That’s what happened when you spent so much time in one place. He had spent hours tracing the grooves on the table top with his fingers. He had spent hours of waiting, hours of telling his story, and hours of questions since coming to this place.

This was something like the tenth time he had been brought to this specific room after he had helped Rogue escape the clutches of his boss. A good deed rewarded with knowledge he shouldn’t have — Tobias had watched a man turn into a bear and then back to a man again. If the woman hadn’t acknowledged the shifting figure of beast and man, Tobias would have talked himself into believing he was crazy — the doctors had told him he was on more than one occasion.

So now, he paced in his prison and waited.

The lack of windows and his back and forth movement… not to mention the waiting… and the waiting… cost him to lose all track of how long he had been kept in this room.

Once upon a time, he had prided himself on his ability to track the hours no matter the situation. Back then he was patient as stone when forced to wait for his targets to reach the perfect spot for him to complete his mission. Of course, that was before his country turned its back on him.

Tobias sighed and began another circuit of the room. The past was the past, he reminded himself.

He would have thought that his mind would be more freaked out, but instead, it was filled with a buzzing impatience. A feeling of something momentous about to happen. The last time he had felt this way was on the bus heading to basic training for the Navy.

Logically, Tobias knew he should be afraid. These men were something more than human, and he knew more than any one-hundred-percent-human should… he knew they existed.

April Update

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow, I have been absolutely awful about writing up blog posts this month. I am so sorry. All I can say is that real life got in the way, but not in the normal “oh, something bad or sad happened and now I’m wallowing so I can’t do anything.” No, this time life interfered in the “I am completely blissfully happy and just enjoying living in the real world” kind of way.

Basically it all boils down to my new boyfriend. I have been spending a lot of time with him and doing nerdy things (D&D, board games, movie marathons, etc). It has been quite some time since I’ve dated, and this particular relationship is like no other one I’ve had before. I feel like I am living in a romance novel, and it’s wonderful.

So, I haven’t been reading as much as normal. I think I’ve read about two books or so this month, which is a somewhat low number for me, but due to changes in my work schedule, I think I’ll be able to increase that total by the time I write up my April Wrap-Up.

Speaking of changes in work schedule, my job has declared that Saturday, April 29th will be a mandatory work day. What sucks is that I had planned on participating in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon that day. I WILL still be reading, just not as much as I originally planned. The job I’m on right now gives me a decent amount of reading time. So you’ll still be able to follow my reading progress by following my Instagram, or you can wait until my Readathon Wrap Up post on Monday May 1.

I guess that also leads into the other activity for the month of April that I have majorly slacked on…Camp NaNoWriMo. My creative drive is coming back, and a lot of that really has to do with the boyfriend too. He inspires me, and listening to him talk about how he wants to try to get back into writing is really helping me want to sit down and write some more as well.

So, as of right now, my Camp NaNoWriMo word count is at roughly 5,000 words…out of my goal of 25,000 words. Clearly I’m a bit behind where I need to be since we’re in the final third of the month. But it will be okay. I was mainly using this month to try and wake up my creativity and that is certainly happening.

Basically I just need to figure out a new work/life/relationship balance. I will need to create a schedule for reading time, writing time, and of course boyfriend time. It will take a little bit of an adjustment, but I’ll get there. So, I thank you for your patience and understanding.

I am currently reading a couple of ARCs thanks to NetGalley, and should have those reviews up next week. For now I may be scaling back to one blog post a week, but whenever possible I’ll try to get a second post up.

I hope you all are having a lovely April. I’m going to get back to reading, at least until the boyfriend finishes with his gym time for the day.

Camp NaNoWriMo Prep

Hey all, Dani here.

I have seriously missed creative writing. I mean, I love reading and then writing up reviews or other bookish posts here on the blog, but I really enjoy writing novels. Sadly I have not been able to do much writing since NaNoWriMo ended last year. There has been a lot going on at home and I’m afraid the stress has been messing with my ability to put the right words down on the page.

That really needs to stop. So I am super glad that the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo is coming.

I’m also glad that I live in a great region, with writers who want to meet up throughout the year. So even though Camp NaNoWriMo is sort of NaNo lite, we still pretty much treat it the same. I still act like a Municipal Liaison, and I’ll plan prep sessions in the month leading up to NaNo/Camp and I’ll have write-ins and such throughout the actual month of the event.

This is basically where we’re at now. We are planning once a week meet ups for the next few weeks, so that should be quite helpful.

Oh, and I’ve decided to do something else different this time around. Normally I talk about which novel I’m working on and I’ll talk in vague specifics on characters, plot, etc. Not this time. I’m going to keep my writing project to myself. I mean, I’ll still give word count updates and general feelings towards my progress, but that’s it.

All I’ll really say is that it is a story I started a while ago, and I really loved working on it. The plot and the characters were so intriguing to me, and I rather enjoyed following their journeys. But I reached a part in the story–fairly close to the end–and the characters revealed details about themselves and their lives and relationships, that changed a number of earlier plot points.

So this session of Camp NaNoWriMo is partly rewriting and editing, and partly finishing the novel. I have my goal set for 25,000 words, which is half of the standard NaNo, but considering my writing dry spell, and what I actually need to get accomplished with this project, I feel good about my decision.

My goal for the time leading up to April is to read through everything I had written, take down notes on characters and plots, and be sure that I know exactly what I need to do for this upcoming Camp experience.

Okay, so for anyone who is feeling a little clueless in regards to this post…NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. It was started in 1999, when it was held in July. The next year it was changed to November and it has continued to grow each year since. The basic idea for NaNoWriMo is to write 50,000 words in 30 days, and I have found that surprisingly focusing on a daily goal of 1667 words can produce decent quality writing too.

I have participated in NaNoWriMo since 2006, and have been a Municipal Liaison in charge of a region since 2008. I can also proudly say that I was a founding donor for Camp NaNoWriMo.

Camp is a tiny bit different. There are two sessions held in April and July each year. Instead of regions, writers are placed into cabins which hold 12 people. Also, you can set your word count goal for the month. And there’s the fact that Camp even has criteria for editing: for each hour you spend editing, it equals 1000 words…so if you are at the editing phase of your current writing project, you can still totally participate.

At the moment I have six campers in my cabin. If you’d like to join in on the fun, head on over to the Camp website and create your writing project. Then just let me know your NaNo/Camp username, and I’ll send you an invite. I’d love to write with you.